The Bookmaker's Daughter: A Memory Unbound

The Bookmaker's Daughter: A Memory Unbound

by Shirley Abbott

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Abbott's father, Alfred, a ``gentleman bandit'' from Hot Springs, Ark., taught her that books were more important than boys, that she should ``stand on her feet and depend on no man.'' Painting himself as an adventurer caught in misfortune's web, her bookmaker father, whose life revolved around horses, pool and gambling, ensnared her in his private mythologies and prevented her from attending Radcliffe (Texas State was closer to home). This luminous, touching memoir of coming-of-age in the South during the 1940s and '50s is both an exorcism and an act of love. Abbott ( Womenfolks: Growing up Down South ) deftly evokes a halcyon Southern town awakening to political corruption, changing sexual and social mores. Her book sings with fierce love for the flawed patriarch with whom she finally comes to terms. BOMC selection. (July)
Library Journal - Library Journal
Guaranteed success by being chosen as a BOMC alternate, this book is destined for even more recognition. It is a sure bet that sections will be anthologized as models of good writing. In addition, like her previous Womenfolks: Growing Up Down South ( LJ 2/1/83), this book will likely grace reading lists of women's studies classes nationwide. The book deserves every bit of this attention. Written with an almost painful integrity, Abbott's memoir deals primarily with her relationship with her father, an illicit bookmaker, but as she recounts her growing up in Hot Springs, Arkansas, she touches on other equally absorbing and important topics, from the love of literature she learned from her father to her fearless decision to enroll in college when her peers were all becoming mothers. Highly recommended.-- Dorothy Golden, Georgia Southern Univ., Statesboro

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
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